Review of Sunflower Cafe

by Frayda

The Kosher Cactus visited Sunflower Cafe, Cedarhurst, in October of 2021. This review was written in October of 2021. Although there is another Sunflower Cafe in Brighton Beach, that location is not the subject of this review. But stay tuned- that’s coming soon!

Where is Sunflower Cafe located?

sunflower cafe of cederhurst exteriour
Bright yellow Sunflower Cafe

Sunflower Cafe is located at 357 Central Avenue, in Lawrence, NY. Central Avenue is the main strip of Kosher and Jewish shops in the 5 Towns, and is about 40 minutes away from Flatbush, in Brooklyn.

Sunflower is between Rockaway Turnpike and Washington Avenue. There is parking conveniently located in a lot on the back of the property (accessible through Frost Lane). 

If you’d rather take public transport, the LIRR Far Rockaway line stops at Lawrence Station, which is just a 10 minute walk away. 

You can also travel by bus on the Q114 Line, which stops at Mott Avenue, a 3 minute walk away.

What time is Sunflower Cafe open?

The Cafe is open from 9AM to 11PM, Sunday through Thursday, and 9AM-1:30PM on Fridays. 

What is the vibe at Sunflower Cafe?

sunny-side-up egg and Israeli salad
Sunny Side Up, with Israeli Salad on the side

Sunflower Cafe is a bright, airy dairy cafe that is the perfect spot for breakfast, brunch or supper- or any time in between. The Cafe has really embraced the sunflower theme, with a bright yellow facade, sparkling yellow walls inside, and sunflowers everywhere. On the wall decals, in vases, on the napkins- they really went all out. The staff must have adopted the sunny disposition from their surroundings, because they were all gracious, smiling and attentive. 

We were a big group, and one of the main dishes did not arrive until everyone was already finished eating, which was a little frustrating. The poor guy had to scarf down his meal while everyone was ready to pay. There were also a few other blips- a side of fried that became a salad, an orange juice that didn’t show up- but common slip-ups for a large group at a restaurant.

Everything else, however, was exceptional. The food was very generously plated, and delicious, the waiters were helpful, the empty plates were cleared immediately, and the entire experience was very fun. 

Do I need to make a reservation?

No need to make a reservation- you can just walk on in! If you’d rather not wait, you can ask them to hold a table for you, but the service is pretty quick and the turnover is usually pretty high. 

When we visited last week, we were a group of 15, and they were able to accomodate us very quickly, without notice, on a busy Sunday morning. There were a few tiny mishaps, so you can call ahead if you want to avoid those, but overall, I think you can take your chances. 

Do they deliver?

penne a la vodka
The classic favorite- Penne a la Vodka

Yes, Sunflower Cafe delivers! As well as free local delivery when you order from their website, you can order via GrubHub, Seamless, Uber Eats, Postmates or Say2Eat. 

What kind of food do they serve at Sunflower Cafe?

Sunflower is the ultimate brunch cafe. The food is similar in style to what you’d find in an Israeli breakfast cafe, and the menu is very, very extensive. Here is what Sunflower Cafe does NOT serve: pancakes and pizza. Here is what they do serve: Everything else.

There are the traditional breakfasts, like a Sunflower Special, Shakshuka, French Toast, and then there are all the omelette options (Greek Omelette is amazing), a ton of salad options, and a slew of sandwiches- hot pressed and cold.

On the menu is also fish dishes, cold wraps, classic pastas like Penne a la Vodka (which is terrific) and more specialized dishes, like Pasta Athens (complete with sun dried tomatoes and black olives). All the food portions were extremely generous. Not only did we all leave full, there were some leftovers, too. 

What is on the menu at Sunflower Cafe?

salad
All the salad options on one menu at Sunflower Cafe

These are some of the items that we ordered:

Mozzarella Sticks. The traditional brunch starter, these were delivered hot, fast and with a dish of house-marinara for dipping. Everyone loved them. 

Sunflower Breakfast. Similar to the breakfast special, this comes with eggs of any style, a salad or fries, fresh orange juice and coffee or tea. We got this for the kids and it was a major hit.

Capriccio Delicacy. Grilled cheese toasts topped with fried eggs, and served with hash-brown potatoes and fresh coffee. This was delicious. The potatoes were perfectly done, and lightly seasoned with plain onion salt. Crispy outside, soft inside. So good. The cheese on the toast was a combo of cream, muenster and mozzarella, and arrived at the table still sizzling.

Spaghetti Neapolitan. Traditional al dente spaghetti, served in a delicious tomato sauce, and topped with an extra serving of melted cheese. The tomato sauce is house-made marinara, and tastes magnificent. 

Shakshuka. This middle-eastern dish is done so right at Sunflower. Served with fresh orange juice, and a side of baguettes, the shakshuka is brought to the table in a cast iron pan, straight from the flames. This version serves the tomato base with a slightly sweet undertone, and the sauce chunky, with cuts of tomato and onion easily discernible. And to top it off, 3 perfect poached eggs. Delicious. 

Baked Potato (with Broccoli and Cheese). Somehow I thought this was going to be a stuffed potato- but it is so much better. The potato is cubed, and then baked into a dish of bechamel sauce, fresh broccoli florets and cheese. The dish is covered in a gorgeous crust of melted cheese, and it is spectacular. This comes with a side of caesar salad or Israeli salad. 

Brooklyn Salad. This delightful salad has a base of fresh greens, mushrooms, baby corn, purple onions, green olives and feta cheese, and is tossed with a creamy pesto dressing. It is healthy, crunchy and delicious. 

What else is on the menu?

The most gorgeous dish in the house: Shakshuka
  • Pastries
  • Breakfasts
  • Omelettes
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Sandwiches
  • Paninis
  • Fish
  • Wraps
  • Pastas
  • Specials
  • Desserts
  • Hot Drinks
  • Cold Drinks / Frappes / Juices

What Hashgacha are they under?

Sunflower Cafe is under the Kosher supervision of Rabbi Yisrael Gornish, and the Vaad Hakashrus of the 5 Towns and Far Rockaway. All food is Chalav Yisrael, and all breads are Pas Yisrael. 

Does Sunflower Cafe serve drinks?

cuppaccino with whipped cream
Whipped cream on Coffee. Is there anything better?

Sunflower has really fantastic coffees. To be honest, I’ve never tried any of the other drinks, but they all look amazing. 

There are fresh juices, and you can get a combo of any three. They have grapefruit juice! Yum! There are also blended Fruit Frappes, for which you can get any combo of about 8 fruit options blended with or without milk. 

The Cafe also has hot coffees, hot teas and hot chocolate milks, and iced coffees, iced chocolate milks, and blended iced coffees. 

Sunflower does not serve alcoholic drinks. 

Are there vegan/ vegetarian options on the menu?

Because Sunflower Cafe is kosher dairy, all the food is vegetarian.

There are also some delicious vegan options on the menu. I can personally recommend the Grilled Vegetable Panini, which is toasted with grilled peppers, roasted portobello mushrooms and avocado. It served up with a huge side of salad (Israeli or ceasar, but the Israeli is vegan). The outside is crisp and warm, and the inside is steaming and creamy from the delicious veggies. An absolute winner. 

You can also try the Avocado Sandwich, or any of the salad options without the protein. Some of the Pasta options are also vegan, or can be made sans cheese. 

Is Sunflower Cafe kid-friendly?

panini, fries and ketchup
Panini with a side of fries. So good.

Sunflower Cafe is very kid-friendly. They have quite a few high chairs for little ones, and they were quick to bring us plastic cups (with straws and lids) when we arrived at our table so we would not have to give the glass tumblers to the babies. 

Although there is no specific kids menu, the food is very kid friendly. We ordered scrambled eggs and french fries (and a salad that they made some half-hearted attempts at), and both were eaten very enthusiastically. The staff were very helpful with retrieving the kids’ fallen cutlery, and waved away our apologies with a smile. 

Is Sunflower Cafe wheelchair accessible?

Sunflower Cafe is wheelchair accessible. There are also accessible restrooms in the back. The space itself is pretty nicely spaced for such a busy restaurant. Although in can get crowded, there is usually room to navigate around the tables with ease. 

Does Sunflower Cafe serve desserts?

grilled cheese toast, hashbrown potatoes and scrambled egg
Grilled cheese with omelette and hash-browns. Yaaaas.

Yes, sunflower does have 3 dessert options. You can get 2 scoops of ice cream, of a Sunflower Ice Cream, which comes with fruit salad and whipped cream, or you can opt for a milkshake. 

Final Thoughts

Sunflower was really good. The service was very good, the food (apart from the one very sad dish) arrived together, the staff were helpful and the food was plentiful and excellent. I have been to Sunflower in the past, and I fully intend on returning in the future.

We split the bill, and each couple paid $77. For the ambience, for the fun, for the food, and for the portion sizes(!) – it was so worth it! 

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